Bowmore Sailing Seagull (2018)
This has to be one of the more curious releases of last year: a vatting of whiskies from Bowmore, spanning from the mid-90s all the way back to 1964! It’s not a commercial release, rather an insane project from the Regensburger Whisky- & Weinclub, a whisky society in Germany.
They’ve done projects like this before, with old Ardbeg for instance. What’s in this Bowmore exactly (as in, which single casks), is unknown. But barring that, there’s plenty of information available (assuming my German language skills were sufficient to translate the below):
- Fifteen bottles of 1960s Bowmore—the oldest from 1964
- A further twelve bottles of 1970s Bowmore, and a few bottles from the 1980s
- Most of the Sailing Seagull is comprised of Bowmore from the 1990s
- 75% maturation in refill and first-fill sherry casks (also some Fino sherry casks)
- The final composition was married in refill sherry and rum casks for a year
One bottle used to cost 199 euro when it was launched last year. That seems like a fair price.
Bowmore Sailing Seagull (50.4%, RW&W, 2018)
Nose: Inviting with soft sherry notes and hints of cigar tobacco, as well as milk chocolate. A whisper of resin too, as well as menthol, baked mushrooms and soy sauce. Finally a whiff of red fruits like raspberries, but mainly freshly cut strawberries. Fresh, yet intense and dark, but well-balanced.
Taste: A tad more phenolic than I’d expected based on the nose, although far from a peat bomb. Whiffs of menthol, a whisper of copper coins, some dark chocolate as well, accompanied by a good amount of fruity sweetness. A hint of bitter oak.
Finish: Medium in length, with menthol and cocoa powder.
Not quite as brilliant as the 200+ scores on Whiskybase indicate, if you ask me. I wonder if it really is better than the sum of its parts. Nevertheless a very good whisky. Thank for sharing, Harmen!
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.